Paul van den Heuvel Joins Brightlands Materials Center as program manager Circular Packaging

Brightlands Materials Center is pleased to welcome Paul van den Heuvel to our team as the new program manager for Circular Packaging. With an extensive background in polymer science and materials development, van den Heuvel brings 18 years of experience from his tenure at DSM, where he contributed significantly to materials development for the automotive and packaging industries until 2016.

Following his period at DSM, Paul transitioned to Polyscope, a DSM spinout specializing in the production of unique plastics, where he focused on the marketing and development of plastic materials, once again catering to the packaging industry. During this time, he collaborated with TNO on a program related to the adhesion of plastic to steel, establishing valuable connections with the personnel who would later form the backbone of Brightlands Materials Center.

Reflecting on his new role, van den Heuvel emphasizes the importance of understanding the existing projects’ alignment with the strategy and vision for Circular Packaging. He articulates a clear direction for his tenure: “We must sharpen our focus and make our mission clearer, even within the team. We do a lot, and certainly many good things. At the same time, we need to clarify the connections between all projects and the overarching plan for Circular Packaging.”

He recognizes the necessity of engaging actively with the market to further sharpen the specialization areas, stating, “We believe that sealing is a very important topic, but it requires more substantiation and reflection together with the market.” Van den Heuvel is committed to identifying the core challenges within the broad spectrum of sealing applications, from meats to chips and strawberries, and to articulate a potent message to address these issues.

As Circular Packaging is the newest program under Brightlands Materials Center, Van den Heuvel is set to take substantial steps in areas where the urgency and need for circular materials are most pronounced. “The past few years have been a period of contemplation and exploration to pinpoint where the market’s need for circular materials is greatest. Now, we are ready to take steps together in this direction,” he concludes.